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Michael Holmes and Yasina Somani.Michael Holmes and Yasina Somani pose with the trophies they won in the UWindsor’s Three Minute Thesis competition.

Competition winner values ability to explain complex research

University researchers don’t have enough opportunities to present their research to the general public, says Yasina Somani, which is why she welcomed the chance to participate in the Three Minute Thesis competition.

“If you want your research to get acknolewdged, you have to be able to present it in a way people can understand,” says the master’s student of kinesiology. She will represent the University of Windsor in the province-wide competition at McMaster University on April 24.

“You need to be able to translate your work to be relevant to real life,” Somani says.

Her presentation, “Getting a grip on high blood pressure with a novel treatment,” described her work in professor Cheri McGowan’s physical activity and cardiovascular research (PACR) lab.

“We have determined that training with an isometric handgrip can reduce blood pressure,” she says. “Now we are trying to identify who will respond best to this treatment.”

She says she was very happy to represent the Faculty of Human Kinetics in the competition, which saw her finish atop a field of 28 contestants.

“The environment in my lab is very supportive; it fosters growth and creativity,” says Somani.

Michael Holmes, a doctoral candidate in chemistry and biochemistry, earned runner-up honours and was voted people’s choice in Monday’s UWindsor finals. The Three Minute Thesis competition challenges graduate students to make their research intelligible to a general audience using just three minutes and a single slide.